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PHILADELPHIA - In the final non-conference game of the 2011-12 campaign, the Quakers (7-7, 0-3 Big 5) will also wrap up their Big 5 schedule with a trip to Temple (9-8, 0-1 Big 5). Tip off is Saturday from McGonigle Hall at 3 p.m., as both teams are looking for their first win against the city conference competition.
Catching the Game
Live video and live stats will be available at OwlSports.com at the links above. A complete recap and box score can then be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of the game.
In the Series vs. Temple
Last Meeting: L, 55-62 at The Palestra (1/22/11)
The Owls have won seven in a row in this series dating back to a 2003 matchup at Temple. In 41 all-time meetings, the Owls hold a 30-11 advantage over the Quakers. Penn has won just three times in North Philadelphia. Last season, the Quakes lost by just seven at The Palestra, which was the closest game in the series since Penn’s 70-64 win at the Cathedral of College Basketball on Dec. 9, 2003.
About the Owls
Temple rebounded from an early season five-game slide against some of the nation’s top teams. The Owls have now won four of five. The only common opponent between these teams is Villanova. Both lost to the Wildcats. The Owls rank fourth in scoring defense in the 14-team Atlantic-10 with the only weakness a 14th-place ranking in three-point defense (.342). They are third in the league in rebounding, fifth in blocked shots, fifth in steals and sixth in turnover margin. Shey Peddy is the second-leading scorer in the Atlantic-10. She averages 15.9 points per game for the Owls, while Kristen McCarthy posts 12.9 per game. Victoria MaCaulay is the team’s leading rebounder at 7.1 per contest and is fourth in the A-10 with 1.6 blocks per game. B.J. Williams ranks second in the conference with a team-high 4.8 assists per game. Peddy is also third in the league in steals (2.8) and threes (2.1).
Turning It Around
Penn was 2-26 just two seasons ago. However, this season...The Quakers registered the best 10-game start in team history (7-3) ... Penn opened 5-0 at home for the first time since 2003-04 ... The Quakers won seven games before the month of January for the first time in the program’s 42-year history ... Penn’s seven non-conference wins rank tied for fourth-most all-time in school history ... Penn went through a stretch of 13 games without losing back-to-back games—the longest streak since 2003-04 (19 games) ... The Quakers won seven of nine games for the first time in seven years (2004-05).
No. 6 in the Nation
Entering the week, Penn ranked sixth in the country in three-point defense. Opponents were shooting just 23.3 percent (40-of-172) against the Quakers this year. And only Hampton and South Carolina have given up fewer than the 40 made threes Penn has allowed. At the Surf ‘N Slam Classic, Penn’s two opponents combined to go 1-for-17 (5.9%) from beyond the arc, and in the last 10 games, opponents have made just 32 of 161 attempts (19.8%).
No. 1 in the Ivy League
Penn has been near the top of the Ivy League in most defensive categories since Mike McLaughlin took over as head coach two seasons ago. The trend continues this year. The Quakers rank atop the Ivies in scoring defense at 54.7 points per game, field goal percentage defense (35.8%) and three-point percentage defense (23.4%).
Penn is 5-0 when scoring more than 50 points ... Senior Jourdan Banks led the team in scoring on Tuesday to break a string of 20 straight games with an underclassmen doing so ... Alyssa Baron and Meghan McCullough have started 42 consecutive games together ... Penn has had a freshman in its starting lineup for in 42 straight games ... The Quakers are 6-2 this year when they have fewer turnovers than their opponent ... Penn has forced at least 17 turnovers in each win this year ... Senior Jess Knapp is 15 points away from reaching 500 for her career ... In all six Ivy wins under Coach McLaughlin, the Quakers have not allowed more than 49 points and have won each by at least 11 points (avg. margin of victory is 15.6 ppg).
Daunting Big 5
Its a daunting task each year for the Quakers to take on the Big 5. The conference for city bragging rights includes the other four Division I schools in Philadelphia—Temple, La Salle, Saint Joseph’s and Villanova. The first three are in the Atlantic-10 conference and the Wildcats are in Big East. Since the Quakers defeated Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 1, 2004 at Hagan Arena, 64-57, they have won just once in the last 29 meetings with Big 5 opponents. That win came over La Salle, 45-40, at The Palestra on Jan. 19, 2011. It snapped a 24-game Big 5 losing streak.
Senior captain Jess Knapp has been a stabilizing force over the past three seasons for the Quakers. In that time, she had started all but four games and had played in 66 straight for Penn prior to missing the Ivy Opener against Princeton on Saturday. Her injury in the Surf ‘N Slam Classic could likely end her season and career. Without her in the starting lineup, Penn is just 1-7 with five of those losses by 18 or more points. This season, the Quakers are 7-2 with Knapp in the lineup full-time and 0-5 without.
Watching the Record Books
Senior Jess Knapp has now moved into sole possession of fourth place in the school record book with a total of 90 career blocks. She passed Big 5 Hall of Famer Jewel Clark (2001-04), who had 82 during her time in the Red and Blue. Knapp had 40 blocks in 2009-10 - fifth-most in a single-season in school history. She then had 38 blocks last season (sixth in school history). She is just 10 shy of becoming the fourth player in the history of the program with 100 career blocks.
Charge for a Cure!
January: Luekemia and Lymphoma Society
The women's basketball team is again dedicating its entire season to the fight against several diseases and the team needs your help. Last season, the team started an initiative which they have coined the "Charge for a Cure" program. The team raised more than $4,000 through the initiative last year. Each month of the season will be devoted to help a specific disease with personal ties to the program - American Cancer Society, Autism Speaks, Luekemia and Lymphoma Society, the ALS Foundation, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. This month, the Quakers will be taking charges for Luekemia and Lymphoma Society, but the team is turning to its fans to lend a hand in its efforts. For more information and to donate to "Charge for a Cure," click here.
|CHARGE FOR A CURE!
Last Time Out
Offensive struggles have plagued Penn throughout a current five-game losing streak and they continued Tuesday night as the Quakers couldn’t keep up with Big 5 rival Villanova at The Pavilion, 52-30. The Quakers got off to a great start. The defense held the Wildcats to just two points over the first 5:24. And on the offensive end, freshman Katy Allen had a layup before sophomore Brianna Bradford made a free throw, picked off the ensuing inbounds pass and dished to freshman Meghan McCullough for a three. That gave Penn a 6-2 edge. The Big East conference foe scored seven of the next nine, but freshman Kathleen Roche hit a corner three to put Penn up 11-9 near the midway point of the first half. A few minutes later, Allen hit a three to stop a 7-0 Villanova run and pull the Quakers within 16-14 with 7:48 until intermission. But Penn struggled offensively from there. The Quakers, who haven’t reached 50 points during the current losing streak, only managed a layup from freshman Kara Bonenberger for the remainder of the half. Meanwhile, Villanova scored 14 during that stretch to take a 30-16 edge into the locker rooms. Against a Villanova program that is known nationally for its defense each year, Penn was just another victim. In fact, Tuesday night marked the first time since December of 2005 in which the Quakers reached 30 points at The Pavilion. Senior Jourdan Banks had the only basket for the Quakers in the first eight minutes of the final half and the home team built a 40-18 lead.
Six straight Ivy weekends and the season finale with Princeton will round out the 2011-12 season for the Quakers. Penn will spend the first two weekends inside The Palestra. First up, Cornell on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m., and Columbia on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m.